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HEALTH & FITNESS ARTICLES

Chew on this

It is said that digestion begins in the mouth, but how much do you really know about chewing?

Indeed, digestion begins in the mouth, but in fact, it starts long before you begin to chew your food. Technically, digestion begins the moment your food enters your mouth and comes in contact with saliva. At that moment, the food has already begun to break down due to the
acids and other elements in saliva. But we are going to focus on the act of chewing.

When solid or semi-solid food enters your mouth, your brain senses that it is not a liquid and this triggers the chew response. So you chew. Sometimes without even thinking about it. And this is where we can get ourselves into trouble.

You see, your brain tells your mouth (well technically your jaw bone muscles, tongue and cheek muscles) to begin chewing, but it doesn’t have a clue as to how long you should chew. Believe it or not, you, the eater, are responsible to decide as to when you are finished chewing. And this can be a problem. Sometimes we are so hungry, or the food is so delicious , or we are in such a hurry, that we rush through our chewing and the food gets passed into the stomach only partially broken down. When the food enters the stomach only partially broken down, the whole digestion process is curtailed. The acids in the stomach only have so much time to dissolve food before the stomach passes it on to the intestinal tract. And the intestines do very little after that in the way of digestion, so what happens is you end up with partially digested food passing through. This, at the very least, can result in constipation. At its worst, it can lead to impaction and infection.

Another problem with not chewing enough is when the partially broken down foods go through our system, the nutrients are not as available to the body as they would be if it was properly chewed. So you’re not getting the full nutritional value of your food.

Well, what do we do to avoid these potential disasters? You know the answer: chew! Your mother probably told you to slow down and chew your food and she was right. Not only does slowing down and chewing more help your digesestion, it can also help you lose weight. Talk about a double bonus!

I’m sure you’ve heard that you should chew each bite 27 times. I’m going to take a little different approach. You should chew your food until it becomes a smooth pasty mash in your mouth. When you can feel no more chunks in your food, you are done chewing. Then swallow. It’s
also a good idea to help the process a little by taking a drink every few bites. But the key is, slow down. You might eve try setting your fork down while you’re chewing. This will definitely help you to slow down and chew more thoroughly.

Eating time is not a race to see who can choke down the most food in the shortest amount of time. You are refueling your body and the process needs to be done properly. So slow down and chew!

Dedicated to your health and fitness,

The Rhino


This article was provided by Rhino Fitness
For more information on Rhino Fitness, check out their full profile here.
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